Breaking News
More () »

'We still cannot neglect our roots' | Longtime Uptown Charlotte residents concerned about gentrification pushing people out

While Beverly Knox-Davis said diversity and growth are good, she doesn’t want it to make victims of the people already there.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — While the city of Charlotte looks to create more affordable housing to bring people in, people who've lived in neighborhoods around Uptown for decades are now concerned about gentrification pushing them out.

“What is about to happen to the Hoskins community,” said Beverly Knox-Davis, founder for A Brighter Day Ministries and Outreach.

Knox-Davis said she became curious after seeing new homes in the area like that are larger, more modern and expensive builds.

“That is not in alignment with the rest of the homes and it sticks out,” Knox-Davis said.

Knox-Davis said she believes it could be the beginning of the ugly side of gentrification.

“As the unaffordable homes are built, I think the taxes will be raised," Knox-Davis said. "I think some of the seniors and people that are maybe young and just starting out, I don’t believe that they’ll be able to afford the taxes.”

They wouldn’t be the first. Nichel Thompson said it's the same thing that happened in the Cherry community.

"[It's] one of the oldest Black neighborhoods in Charlotte,” Thompson said. 

Thompson said she’s lived in the community for 10 years and seen gentrification run its course.

"This was a low-to-middle-income neighborhood," Thompson said. "When I first arrived there were duplexes right here along the main street.”

Those have been replaced with new homes, and the people along with it.

“I do know that some of them were displaced into situations of homelessness, I do know a few of them had to go into hotels,” Thompson said.

RELATED: Seeking Solutions: What's next for homeless neighbors in Mecklenburg County?

Thompson's family benefited from the changes, saying her home was priced at $125,000 in 2012 and now worth over $500,000. Still, she said she recognizes it came at the expense of others.

"Even though with all of the growth, we still cannot neglect our roots and the people that actually sustained this community,” Thompson said.

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.

Nobody has seen the change more than the oldest member of the Cherry community, 97-year-old Louvora Hare.

"It has been a big change,” Hare said.

Hare said she feels most of her African American neighbors are gone.

Thompson said their neighborhood is now majority white.

While Knox-Davis said diversity and growth are good, she doesn’t want it to make victims of the people already there.

“Lots of concerns and we just want to make sure people aren’t priced out,” Knox-Davis said.

Contact Lana Harris at lharris@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram.

Before You Leave, Check This Out